Chatbot Best Practices: The Ultimate Guide
How to develop a successful chatbot
Before getting started
First of all, you have to be able to recognize the different elements of which a chatbot can be constituted, these include:
- Text: just plain text.
- Interactive elements: such as carousels, buttons, lists, etc.
- Webviews: these are little websites that pop up in a user-friendly format during the chatbot conversation.
Then, we need to clarify the two main type of chatbots:
- “Rule-based” chatbots
They can only respond to specific commands. In other words, these chatbots follow a guided conversational flow - based on a decision tree - often times through buttons and simplified interactions, some are also able to answer questions based on keywords.
The rules defined can be very simple to very complex. The most common type of rule-based chatbot uses a document retrieval system and is limited in its capabilities. It is quite clear that this type of chatbot is not efficient in answering free-form questions, whose pattern does not match with the rules on which it is trained. It is also known as decision tree chatbot; the branches represent the options that the user has available.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled chatbots
They can learn from the interactions they have with the end users. A fundamental difference is Natural Language Processing (NLP) abilities: they help the program understand the intent of the question asked. AI chatbots can identify the language used, decipher context and then present options based on responses. Obviously all artificial intelligence technologies require much more work and training, and are therefore a more onerous solution.
Let’s get started
- Have a clear definition of the scope
In order to be able to start working on your chatbot, you need to know your scope; so, let’s focus on the minimum viable chatbot. You can apply the Pareto's law, which states that for many events, 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. Therefore, applying it to this particular case, it means it’s very likely that 80% of your customer support ticket volume comes from 20% of your FAQs. To automate your customer service through the use of a chatbot, first you have to analyse and understand your audience and the category of FAQs to which this 20% belongs.
For the remaining 80% of FAQs that creates a low volume, it is recommended to make a handover to a human agent in the first phase and gradually include other causes based on frequency data gathered from these interactions.
- Analyse the information you gathered
Now that you have identified which is the 20% that generates more traffic, you must analyse in detail all the FAQs and categories it includes. Think about, for example, how you can do to automate the responses to these requests as much as possible, without forgetting the user experience.
- Define the user flow
This step is essential and will determine the success of your chatbot.
Our advice for many uses cases is to start building a ruled-based chatbot (you can implement AI and NLP capabilities later), and as we've already seen, this means that you need to create a decision tree, containing all the uses cases (FAQs) you want to automate: it will work like a navigation map of the conversation.
Don't forget to look at it from your customers’ point of view to offer them the best UX possible.
- Choose tone and personality
Last but not least, the personalisation of your chatbot. To provide an excellent UX it is essential not to overlook any details. Focus on your target: how would you like it to respond to your requests? How should it relate to users?
Giving a tone and personality to your chatbot is an essential phase of the process. Yet, remember not to let this get out of control, creating a chatbot too “friendly” and thus run the risk of being annoying or, worse, even unbearable!
But why should you choose Hubtype?
Using Hubtype framework will allow you to:
- easily orchestrate all elements necessary to build a great conversational experience;
- scale effectively over multiple channels, languages, etc.;
- save time and money;
- iterate and improve your chatbot.
Book a quick call with us; we’d be glad to show you how our products work.
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